Traveling the world is a wonderful experience but sometimes people only think about what they get out of it and forget the immense impact they have upon the places they visit. Visiting a new location should be considered an exchange of ideas, culture and an experience of mutual learning.
Today, here at Royal Holiday Travel, we want to talk about the negative side of tourist attitude, that sometimes happens due to a lack of awareness and not necessary a malicious intent. Traveling the world is more than just tips on how to get there and how to pack, you must also think about what you are bringing to the table and how this wonderful places that open their arms to you, will be benefited and made better with your presence.
We present to you, eight things tourist should avoid in order to enjoy the most out of their traveling experience and at the same time promote tourism as something positive in the area. This is particularly important to make sure other travelers after you are welcomed here and everyone involved can benefit from tourists coming back.
This is something that applies to absolutely everything we do in our everyday life, however, for some strange reason, tourists seem to forget about dress codes when going on holiday. Not dressing properly can go all the way from being rude, to downright dangerous in some countries. It is important for you to understand that not every country is a liberal with their dress code as where you are from and in some cases is quite the opposite. Don’t feel insulted if people dress differently or more provocatively than what you are used to. You must understand that part of seeing the world is being exposed to different views of things and that is actually a very positive thing as it makes you more sensitive to others.
Abuse alcohol consumption
Being drunk in public is not socially acceptable everywhere and it can be very dangerous in some cases. Alcohol consumption can impair your judgment and make you an easy target for a robbery or something along those lines. In some cases, people tend to be rude, loud and disrespectful when they drink, even if they are perfectly nice people otherwise. Avoid embarrassing situations and if you are going to drink, make sure you are surrounded by people you trust and always have a designated driver.
Disregarding local customs
Cultural, social and religious customs should be observed even if you are not a native. People will not cut you any slack just because you “didn’t know”. It is your duty as a visitor to become aware of the local customs and to respect them as any gracious guest would.
Not being aware of your body language
Just because a thumbs up means OK in most places, it doesn’t mean this applies to the rest of the world. Embarrassing situations can always be avoided by being informed beforehand and doing your research prior to arriving to your destination. Avoid pointing at people or touching them without asking firsts. Not all cultures have the same rules about body language or personal space.
Talking about taboo subjects
Most of us know that religion and politics are subjects best left aside unless you are surrounded by people you know well. This is not the case everywhere else however. There are some countries in which people talk about politics constantly and even get very worked up about but it’s all in good fun. Talking about salary, however, while it may seem normal to most of us, is completely taboo in some places. Asking about someone’s family can be very insulting unless you know the person well. The best thing to do is to ask first and become aware of your surroundings. People usually feel flattered when you are curious about them and ask them questions, so just be respectful and humble when you make new friends.
Thinking everything should work like it does back home
Understand that you are not back home, so accept things are different here. Complaining out loud about the current state of a city, its people or the way they do things is extremely rude and makes you and all other tourists look bad. Watch what you say, you do not know who is listening and who you may offend.
Expect everyone to speak English
If you don’t speak their language, why do you expect them to speak yours? Remember you are a visitor here so you should act like it. Use the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Locals admire tourist who try to learn the language and go out of their way to help you. Don’t worry, people will not judge you or make fun of you and will commend your efforts.
Leave trash behind
Do not leave things behind. We should all take care of the world and make sure our impact is as small as possible. Do not be disruptive of nature and take back with you everything you bring. If someone else is doing it do not assume this is ok. Pick up after yourself.